Norwegian word of the day: Klar

Frazer Norwell
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Norwegian word of the day: Klar
Caption photo by Francesco Ungaro on Unsplash / Nicolas Raymond/FlickR

Things might not be as obvious as you think when you see this word


 What is klar

Klar or klart (depending on grammatical agreement) has three distinct meanings as an adjective and one as a verb. 

The first of these is similar to the English “clear”, meaning something that is colourless and can be seen through: Jeg kan se gjennom det klare vannet, which means I can see through the clear water. Jeg husker det klart means “I remember it clearly”. 

Klar can also mean “ready” similar to saying something is “all clear” in English. Using klar to ask if someone is ready is very common in Norway. A common expression is “er du klar” means “are you ready”. 

You can ask somebody, “Er du klar for det?” This literally means, “Are you ready to do it?” but instead, you are actually asking if they are willing to help you. 

An example would be “jeg tenkte vi kunne prøvd å gå en fjelltur i morgen. Er, du klar for det?” This means, “I thought we could go on a hike tomorrow. Are you ready for that?”

The third use of Klar as an adjective is in the sense that something is easy to understand or self-explanatory. If someone tells you that the sky is blue, you may reply by saying, “det er klart” (“That’s obvious”). 


Finally, klar can be a verb, meaning to take care of something. klare noe is to overcome, manage or deal with a challenge, task or problem. Jeg klarte å svømme 1000 meter i gå ("I managed to swim 1000 meters yesterday)". Det klarte du fit is complimentary and means you did that very well.


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